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How You're Helping By Volunteering in Uganda

Posted by Emily Cummings on 10/4/18 3:01 PM

ILP Adventure

You’ll be making a difference in all of our ILP locations, but how you’re helping in Uganda is just a little bit different. 

Pst: Haven’t applied to volunteer in Africa? Come fill out an application! 

The ILP Program in Uganda is pretty unique and special in a few ways. Like our other Exchange and Humanitarian programs around the world, you’ll be helping children learn English which will greatly impact their future.

But in Uganda, that impact is a little more direct, because of the way to education system is set up. Also because of where you'll be teaching, volunteers will have the chance to help provide clean water for their neighborhood, thanks to man named Eddie. 

A Bit Of Background About Uganda 

English in Uganda 

While English is one of the main languages spoken in Uganda, it’s really there to unify the 100+ local languages that are spoken between friends and family, and at home.  English is used to conduct official meetings, business transactions, political meetings, and all areas of public school, but the kids ILP teachers will be teaching typically aren’t speaking English at home. When they start school, they are sitting through classes and taking tests held in English, a language they don’t understand yet.

Learning English quickly and successfully at an early age will heavily impact how well these children do in school. Unfortunately, Uganda has the second highest drop out rate (second only to Chad) in the entire continent of Africa. According to a UNESCO study, two of three children starting primary school drop out before reaching the last grade.

While that’s a number caused by a handful of factors, having young children start school speaking the language they’ll be learning in would drastically drop those statistics. 

All ILP programs help children learn a skill that will benefit them in the future, but in Uganda, English is a skill that’s needed now while they're young.

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Also, we’re also thrilled to announce that volunteers will not only be helping in the classroom, but will get the chance to give back in other ways. Thanks to a man named Eddie, volunteers will be able to help provide clean water to thousands of people living in Uganda.

Meet Eddie

This program really wouldn’t be possible without a man named Eddie. For years, he’s worked with a team of volunteers to help increase sanitation, hygiene, and water safety for the city of Kampala, and Uganda as a whole. For nine years, he’s been the regional agent in Uganda for charities run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Now, he's teamed up with ILP to help see this project grow. 

With no piped water in the majority of homes, families are required to trek to the closest well, spring, or pond to refill containers before making the walk back home. Sometimes the closest source is 1-2 miles away, so you can imagine how time consuming and physically taxing the daily chore of finding and carrying home heavy jugs of water is for many people in Uganda.

ILP Adventure - Uganda

Helping To Provide Clean Water 

However, the real problem is when the closest water source isn’t clean. If it isn't a preserved spring or well, it's probably a standing pool, with trash rimming the edges. You might see a couple of dogs play in the pond or see a cow’s muddy hooves standing in the water before someone comes to fill up their 5-gallon containers. Drinking contaminated water is major problem that many families deal with on a daily basis.

Case in point, according to the NCBI, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under five in Uganda; 1.8 million die each year — a number that can be drastically reduced with access to clean water. 

With help, Eddie’s been able to provide over 700 wells and piped springs to provide a clean and constant water source, and is eager add to that number. ILP volunteers will be able to help Eddie and his team help preserve springs to provide clean water to hundreds or even thousands of local people. There may also be opportunities for you to help with teaching health and hygiene classes around your community. 

ILP Adventure - Uganda

Here's a picture of Eddie, on the left. 

Eager to help out for yourself? You're in luck — we're accepting applications so you can do just that. ILP Volunteers will be teaching English part time which leaves plenty of time to help out in the community and experience more of what Uganda has to offer. 

Get a sneak peak at what your semester could look like here, or click that button to send in your application, ASAP. We have a feeling spots in this country are going to go fast!

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Topics: Uganda

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